April 18 – B, 2023

Smoky Woods 10/27/2006 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Townsend, Tennessee
There is no Why?
There is no Because!"

There is no Master Plan.
There is no Plan of any kind.

There is no reason
for things being the way they are.

Things are the way they are
in response to something else
being the way it is/was.

BUT! Not BECAUSE something else
is/was the way it is/was!

The response did not have to be 
what it was.
What is the reason things responded
the way they did?
There is no reason.

They could have responded in countless
other ways.

There is no Why?
There is no Because!

Which should put an eternal end
to all of those "If/Then" scenarios,
and to the eternal idea
that "all of our problems will be solved
if we just kill" somebody.

But, no.
And this supports my argument entirely.
There is no Why?
means there is no predicting the future.
We do what we do in response to the situation
thinking that such-and-such will happen,
and maybe it does,
Other things also happen that were
completely unanticipated,
disrupting the flow of events
and creating a flurry of situations
that constitute what is generally
referred to as "a mess."

And this plays into Taoism full tilt,
in that Taoism is about balance and harmony
as a permanent response
to the Yin/Yang at work in every circumstance.

Alignment with the Tao is seeing what is happening
in a situation
and what is called for in response,
taking everything into account,
and responding in ways that serve what needs to happen
while being careful to balance the things that
are keeping what needs to happen from happening,
so that the forces favoring "For"
and the forces favoring "Against"
are honored and respected in recognition
of the importance of equilibrium and stability
within the situation.

That kind of approach is the end to war--
and to extreme positions of all kinds,
reducing ciaos to manageable wobbles,
and making life better for all concerned. 

Where the mountains are made low
and the valleys are lifted up,
and Yin/Yang are maintained
within an acceptable range 
of balance and harmony
throughout society.

This cannot work without all people
within the society understanding/accepting
that no one can have what they want
at the expense of anyone else,
and everyone shares mutual responsibility
for the good of the whole.

Which cannot be imposed from the top down
or from the outside in,
but has to be organic,
from inside out
in response to the circumstances
requiring something to be done.
That response is mediated by a cultural attitude
honoring the Tao,
the flow of balance and harmony,
throughout the culture
above all else.

Which is to say, an environment
in which the Tao is natural
and not forced.

Where would you go to find one of those?
It has to start where you are,
with you being what is needed
in each situation as it arises,
and seeing what happens in response
over time.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

2 thoughts on “April 18 – B, 2023

  1. Immediately applicable to myriad personal, social, civic, statewide, national, and international—and maybe, intergalactic—situations! I banned either/or, too, and replaced it with both/and.

    Liked by 1 person

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